The pressure to get your “pre-baby body back” straight after birth is on the rise with many mums signing up to high intensity training postpartum. But is it suitable for a postnatal mum’s body? In most cases the answer is no, and here’s why.
During pregnancy a women’s body undergoes a tremendous amount of physiological and hormonal changes to house a growing baby and bring a life into the world. The hormone responsible for loosening the muscles and ligaments for child birth (relaxin) is still present up to 6 months postpartum and even longer if breast feeding. This alone presents a greater risk of injury if performing high impact, plyometric or heavy weighted exercises as the joints and supporting muscles are not yet strong enough to cope with the demand. Not to mention a weakened pelvic floor and abdominal separation, it is a disaster waiting to happen.
I unfortunately have had many clients come to me after attending bootcamp style sessions – even some that are advertised as “mums and bubs”.They have been doing jump squats, running, skipping and have ended up wetting themselves, feeling their prolapse worsen or have slightly increased their abdominal separation. There is a time and place to introduce these types of exercises and it’s different for everyone.
You need to give your body time to recover and slowly build strong foundations to cope with the demand. Think of postnatal exercise as pre-season training for an athlete, they don’t just throw themselves in full throttle and hope for the best. Educate yourself and respect the changes that your body has/is going through, you will thank yourself in the long run.